Passwords Are Outdated Anyway!
At the beginning of the year, I made the decision to switch from Dashlane to NordPass. I had nothing against Dashlane and still think it’s a solid solution, but after trialling it out for myself, I found that it works better for me.
I’ve been using NordPass for a while now and so far I have nothing but positive things to say about it, it works incredibly well, and I find that the autofill works better for me than Dashlane’s. On top of that it even has a desktop app!
But that’s nothing compared to the feature that I’m about to discuss and that feature is passwordless authentication with the use of Passkeys. Sounds like a dream come true right?
So What Are PassKeys?
To put it simply, Passkeys allow you to sign in to apps and websites without the need of using a password. They are digital credentials that are created by your device and you can access them with the help of biometrics making them quick, convenient and still highly secure.
Unlike the traditional approach, where passwords are either known by the user or can be made visible to users with the use of password managers, Passkeys are invisible and cannot be entered manually.
I would like to add that at present Passkey’s only work using the desktop application and web vault. They do not work on mobile devices just yet.
What’s Wrong With Passwords?
What a good question! The truth of the matter is that no matter how secure your password is it can still be prone to attack. Not only can hackers crack weak passwords, but they can also gain access to the databases that store them.
As an IT Engineer, trust me when I say that your account will only be as secure as you make it. I find it incredible that there are people out there that reuse the same simple password for all their online accounts and on top of that, they don’t enable 2-factor authentication because they see it as a nuisance and they claim that they never had a problem before.
It gets worse! A recent study by the Cybernews investigation team found an alarming statistic regarding the 10 most common passwords in 2023. It revealed that people are still using passwords as simple as 123456, password and qwerty.
Is the problem related to today’s society?
From both a personal and professional viewpoint, I think that the key cause of the issue is the society we live in. As humans, we are constantly looking for ways of making life easier for ourselves, I’m guilty too!
The same can be said for security, we don’t want to have to remember ultra-long and complex passwords or have to rely on another device for 2-factor authentication. We just want to log in and go about our day. Due to this, as humans, we are choosing to use the simplest routes to get to where we want to and attackers are watching! In fact, 82% of breaches that happened in 2022 were caused by the human element.
Unfortunately, that type of mindset is difficult to change, unless you join it and that’s where password managers such as NordPass and 1Password come in.
Other Reasons I Like NordPass
As I found out recently on Twitter and Reddit, the password manager community has many views and opinions, especially when it comes to Open Source alternatives such as BitWarden, which is also a solid solution.
That’s why before going any further, I just wanted to mention that I’m using NordPass because I like it, it works well for my needs and it has some pretty impressive security features. But it’s not the only password manager in existence, there are many really good alternatives such as 1Password, Dashlane, BitWarden and many more.
When signing up for the NordPass Premium trial, I was impressed from the very beginning and the main reason for that was the fact that my Nord account password is different to the one of my vault. Such a simple thing, but helps improve security a long way.
You can have a very good product packed full of wonderful and useful features but if the user experience is poor, then the product is bad. This is something that I constantly see in the software industry and it can also be seen in tech.
As an end user myself, when a product is packed full of features but the overall user experience is either too complicated or just generally bad, I move on to a different product. Now I haven’t yet had this issue with a password manager, but I definitely feel that NordPass feels more user-friendly compared to other password managers I’ve used in the past.
As a multi-platform user, I found installing NordPass to be easy on both of my Windows devices, my iPad and my Pixel 7 Pro. I also find the interface to be user-friendly on these devices, but the one thing I will mention is that the user interface differs on the mobile versions of the app.
For example, On the Windows app, I’ve set up folders for certain things and these come up on the main page within the app, but on Android and on my iPad, I have to go into the “Browse” tab and then select “Folders”. It’s not a massive issue, it’s just something to bear in mind.
Overall I find the user experience to be great, it works really well on all platforms that I have tried the app on and there is no lag.
The would be no use in talking about a password manager without mentioning some of the security features!
To begin with, NordPass uses the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm which is one of the strongest encryption algorithms available in password managers at present.
The premium version has the password health tool which can help people identify passwords it deems to be vulnerable, such as old, reused or just generally weak. This is a great feature for those passwords that you’ve set yourself without the help of the built-in password generator.
The premium version also has a built-in data breach scanner that tells you when your data has appeared in a breach. I find this incredibly useful as it allows me to take action with the breached account.
Another feature that I like is Emergency Access, which provides trusted people access to my passwords and secure notes in the event that I was involved in an emergency. However, this is another premium feature.
While I haven’t been using NordPass for very long, I certainly like the overall user experience it is providing me with and as a cherry on top, I love the fact that they are looking at new methods of authentication including going completely passwordless.
I actually went ahead and purchased the two-year plan as it was available at a very reasonable price, so I expect to be using it for a long time. So I will definitely be making more content about it in the future. If this is a topic that interests you, I highly recommend signing up for my weekly newsletter, so that you don’t miss my content.
In regards to Passkey technology, I definitely see a future in it and I hope that it will be made available to mobile devices soon!
This post isn’t endorsed by NordPass, nor do they know that I’m writing it. But I have included my affiliate link in this article as it helps creators like me financially. I only tend to partner with brands that I use and trust myself.